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Archive for the ‘Electrical Fire’ Category

PA: Arc Flash Victim Recovering

February 18, 2013 Leave a comment

Bensalem, PA:  A man critically burned last month in an electrical explosion at a Bensalem carpet business is recovering at Temple University’s Burn Center.

Bensalem Battalion Chief Rob Sponheimer is not releasing the man’s name, but said he was burned over 60 percent of his body in the Jan. 17 fire at Adams Carpet, off Street Road near Hulmeville Road.

An employee of the carpet business was also burned, but not as severely, as he helped to put the flames out on the contractor with a fire extinguisher.

Sponheimer said the contractor was working inside a three-phase electrical panel when one of his tools came in contact with the back of the panel, causing an arc-flash.

The arc-flash ignited the contractor’s clothing and hair.

“These types of arc-flashes can reach temperatures above 5,000 degrees, have a great amount of energy associated with them and have a blinding flash and deafening noise,” Sponheimer said.

An arc-flash occurs when electrical insulation or isolation between conductors is broken or can no longer withstand the applied voltage, according to The National Fire Protection Association.

Sponheimer did not say if the carpet store employee was still hospitalized.

Story via phillyburbs.com

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TX: OSHA Fines BMC Building Materials $41K; Electrical Cord Problems

January 23, 2013 Leave a comment

New Braunfels, TX: A New Braunfels company has been fined by OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which says they found a total of 7 serious safety violations during a recent inspection.

BMC Building Materials and Construction Services, located on FM 482 here in New Braunfels, builds prefabricated wood trusses.  But they are now facing fines totaling 41-thousand dollars following OSHA’s allegations that the company exposes workers to electric and machine guarding hazards.

Specifically, OSHA claims that during a safety inspection back in October (which was prompted by a complaint about unsafe working conditions) they discovered 7 separate safety violations including a lack of machine guarding on machinery equipment, saw blades, rotating shafts, and pulleys, which OSHA says can lead to serious injuries, including amputations.

Other violations included failing to ensure that electrical wiring is protected, and ensuring electrical cords are maintained in a safe condition.  OSHA says a serious violation is issued when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard that the employer either knew about or should have known about.

BMC Building Materials now has 15 business days to comply with the safety regulations, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director in Austin, or contest the citations and penalties before an independent OSHA Review Commission.

Story via www.kgnb.am

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GHANA: Electrical Fault Cause of Hospital Blaze

January 23, 2013 Leave a comment

Ghana: Preliminary investigations indicate that an electrical fault caused the electrical fire that destroyed two apartments at the Swedru Government Hospital Saturday.

Fire officers say the two separate fires reportedly started shortly after power was restored to the hospital area in the afternoon.

The incident created panic among medical staff and patients until fire fighters managed to prevent the two separate fires from spreading to other buildings.

Swedru Municipal Fire Divisional Officer, Ebenezer Mensah told Joy News such disasters can be prevented if the people adheres to precautionary measures whenever the power goes off.

Story via edition.myjoyonline.com

WA: Electrical Fire Shuts Down Power Production at Ice Harbor Dam

January 23, 2013 Leave a comment

Walla Walla District, WA: Power production stopped at Ice Harbor Dam near Burbank after two small electrical fires were discovered at 9 a.m. Thursday.

The fires were inside two cabinets holding electrical components for two of the dam’s six generators, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. Three generators were operating at the time.

Power for dam facilities stopped, but power was being pulled off the electrical grid within 30 minutes for basic facility operations. The navigation lock returned to service at 12:40 p.m.

Snake River flows previously passing the dam via power generation are being passed through the spillway.

The fires did not last long because of the design and content of the electrical cabinets, Army Corps officials said. The fire produced some smoke, but it quickly cleared, they said.

Operations staff at the dam are evaluating the generators and their electrical and mechanical components to determine the extent of any damage and are working to restore power generation capability.

An investigation into the cause of the fires is planned.

 

MN: Verso Fined $39K for Lockout Tagout Violations

January 3, 2013 Leave a comment

SARTELL, MN: The Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration has closed its investigation into the explosion and fire at the Verso Paper Mill.

OSHA cited Verso for two serious citations.  They were fined a total of $39,200, which the company did not contest and paid.

James Honerman is the Communications Director for the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry.  He says the first violation was for failing to ensure specific “lockout/tagout procedures”.

An overheated compressor led to the explosion and fire.

Plant employees, doing routine maintenance, shut down a well that provided water to cool the plant’s compressors on the day of the accident.

The explosion and fire on Memorial Day killed Jon Maus, and injured four other workers.

The company announced in August it would not reopen the mill.

Story via wjon.com

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UT: New Years Costco Electrical Fire Causes $2,000,000 in Damages

January 3, 2013 Leave a comment

American Fork, UT: An electrical  fire, possibly started by a malfunctioning heater, caused an estimated $2 million in damage to Costco on New Year’s Day.

The store is closed for cleanup. On Wednesday two full-time employees stood in front of the store letting Costco members, who were arriving continuously, know of the closure. “It was just a small electrical fire and we are doing some water clean up,” C.D. Fackrell, Costco Lehi manager, said. “We are really pushing to be open by Friday.”

Most of the damage was caused by water and smoke. The fire started at about 9:45 p.m. and since it was a holiday, no one was at the store to notice it. The fire began in the merchandise section of the store near the southernmost major corridor running east-west.

Firefighters were alerted at about 10:30 p.m. “We saw the water flow alarm and with water flowing we knew something was going on,” Lehi Fire Battalion Chief Rick Howard said. “We got there and the whole building was full of smoke.”

The Provo Fire Department was called to help disperse the smoke, which lessened the smoke damage. Provo firefighters brought in their large truck fan to blow smoke out of the building. Ceiling vents also were opened to get rid of the smoke.

But they couldn’t get it out quickly enough to save merchandise. “You can’t sell stinky clothes and stinky fruit,” Howard said.

By Wednesday afternoon, firefighters were looking at the damage to ascertain the cause of the fire. Employees were arriving for their Costco shifts but instead of serving members they were helping with cleanup.

“When we have situations like this Costco is really good at taking care of business,” Fackrell said. “We rally the troops, get it cleaned up and get ready for business.”

Story via heraldextra.com

FL: Extension Cord Fire Causes $30K in Damages

January 2, 2013 Leave a comment

Palm Bay, FL: An overheated extension cord started an electrical fire that caused about $30,000 damage to a Palm Bay home early today.  The fire apparently began about 6:30 a.m. near a space heater behind an old couch in the home at 1326 Cherry Hills Road NE, according to Palm Bay Fire Rescue Assistant Fire Marshal Ronald Bailey.  Smoke alarms alerted the residents who evacuated without injury, Palm Bay officials said. Firefighters quickly stopped the blaze, containing the fire in the master bedroom though smoke damaged other parts of the home.  Bailey said the extension cord being used was too small and overheated, catching the sofa on fire.

The Red Cross was called to assist the family.  As temperatures briefly dip across Central Florida, officials remind residents to be careful with portable heaters. According to the National Fire Protection Association, heaters are one of the leading causes of fatal house fires.

To prevent fires, residents should:  Keep a three-foot area around a heater clear of combustibles and other items;  don’t use ovens as a home heating source turn portable heaters off when leaving a room or going to bed always use correct fuel, and follow directions on a heater;  test smoke alarms.

Story via floridatoday.com

MA: Electrical Fire Destroys Home

January 2, 2013 Leave a comment
PLYMOUTH, MA:

The state fire marshal has reason to believe a fire Friday that destroyed a home in Plymouth’s Manomet village was an electrical fire, but the official cause remains undetermined.

State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan said the early morning blaze at 116 Seaview Drive started next to a couch in the home’s living room. No one was home when the fire started, and there were no injuries.

“There is no evidence to suggest this was an intentionally-set fire.” Coan said. “Reconstruction of the scene points to an electrical cause of the fire, but all of the electrical components were destroyed by the fire leaving us without evidence to test to confirm.”

Coan said the seaside home is used year-round, but the occupants were away for the holidays.

Because the cause of the Plymouth blaze is undetermined, investigators won’t connect the fire to a recent string of suspicious fires in southeastern Massachusetts.

More than 15 of these suspicious fires, some of which were deemed arson, started inside empty or abandoned buildings in local towns.

Jennifer Meith, spokeswoman for the state Department of Fire Services, said authorities are still investigating a possible arson spree.

“There are certainly a series of intentionally set fires that we’re investigating as a possible connection,” she said.

Friday’s fire in Plymouth started shortly before 3 a.m. Deputy Fire Chief Michael Young said the single-story home was “fully engulfed” when firefighters arrived.

“It’s totally gutted, a total loss,” Young said.

Heat from the fire melted some shutters at the home next door at 114 Seaview Drive, Young said. Firefighters were able to put out most of the fire within a half hour.

Three other fires occurred in coastal communities in the past two weeks. On Dec. 19, a small fire damaged a summer home on Central Avenue in Scituate’s Humarock neighborhood.

Several hours later, fire destroyed two boats and damaged three others at Taylor Marine in Marshfield’s Brant Rock neighborhood.

On Dec. 13, officials said a one-alarm fire, later deemed to be arson, damaged a beachfront home at 204 Central Ave. in Humarock.

Story via patriotledger.com

FL: Christmas Tree Electrical Fire ends in $100,000’s of Damage

December 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Cape Coral, Florida. -The owner of a Cape Coral country store hopes to rebuild after an electrical fire caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage. We’re told it sparked near a Christmas tree.

Outside, pieces of the building are still scattered about.  You can see the yellow tape surrounds the front, and the building is boarded up.  It’s unsafe to go inside, where you could once find special antiques and country collections

“Everything is gone. We didn’t think it looked so bad when we were standing outside. But there’s really nothing much left,” said owner Donna Freeman.

She is devastated. With Christmas around the corner, she was looking forward to a busy season. Instead, she is picking up the pieces of her dream business, which we’re told, she recently remodeled. She calls her country store “Rustic Gatherings” and today it’s a gathering of friends, co-workers and the customers she loves giving hugs of support.

“I just want to thank the people that came and the sent emails, and posted on their Facebook,” she said.  “Again, it makes me cry. I love that, and will never be able to repay that kindness.”

“I just said hi, and dropped off some muffins and told her to hang in there,” said a customer.

The sign outside says “Heart N Home” but Freeman acquired the country store this year and had not yet changed the name. Now a lot more changes are in store after Thursday morning’s blaze consumed an estimated $200,000 of merchandise and building.

Flames could be seen from the roof. WINK-TV has learned it sparked accidentally, near a Christmas tree, and is electrical in nature “If you look on the big picture, we’re ok. No one was hurt and no one is dead,” said Freeman.

Some of the surrounding businesses have some smoke damage. At this time, its unclear when this country store will open again but they are hoping to rebuild as soon as possible.

Story via winknews.com

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PA: Electrical Fire Shuts Gabriel Brothers Down

December 21, 2012 Leave a comment

York, PA: An electrical fire Wednesday afternoon closed businesses in a Springettsbury Township shopping plaza.

Fire crews were dispatched to Gabriel Brothers, 1226 Greensprings Drive, just after 4 p.m. for the fire, said Robert McCoy, chief of York Area United Fire and Rescue.

They arrived to find that an electrical box and transformer had overloaded, causing a small fire, he said.

All stores and businesses in the plaza were evacuated and power was shut off to the plaza as Met-Ed crews worked to isolate and fix the problem.

Damage was contained to electrical components, McCoy said.

Power had been restored to most businesses but Greensprings Family Medicine was still without power on Thursday morning, McCoy said.

Story via yorkdispatch.com